Alberta diversity advocate rallies crowd against hate
'We won't let hate or bigotry sell into our voices,' says organizer of annual diversity rally
Chevi Rabbit has been turning hate into hope for half a decade.
A group of men attacked the gay student in an Edmonton parking lot in 2012. They ganged up and beat Rabbit while yelling homophobic slurs.
"People rallied behind me after I was assaulted," Rabbit said. "Edmonton is a really compassionate city... we won't let hate or bigotry sell into our voices."
At its outset, the event was meant to raise awareness about hate and bigotry. After three years of successful turnouts, Rabbit decided to start raising money, too.
"The initial Hate to Hope was good because it was really empowering for me to speak up and rally for change," said Rabbit. "Then I thought I don't want to turn Hate to Hope into another non-profit, so I'll help other non-profits instead."
This year's proceeds went to the Trans Equality Society of Alberta.
"It's huge," said the organization's director, Stephanie Shostak. "We could use all the support that we can get."
The society is small but Shostak said she plans to use the donation to expand its work in the province.